Today’s Responsorial Psalm refrain again sums up the posture we each should have throughout life. Union with the Lord is our ultimate goal, and yet we often fail in ways that require God’s forgiveness and the forgiveness of others. The reality of the human condition is expressed in the final verses of today’s psalm: “Our souls are more than sated with the mockery of the arrogant, with the contempt of the proud.” Arrogance and pride are at the root of a lot of the evils people perpetrate against one another in thought, word or deed. Arrogance prevented the people of Jesus’ hometown from believing in him. As a result, “he was not able to perform any mighty deed there.” (Today’s Gospel) What a deprivation! How often has our own arrogance prevented God from working wonders for us?
In contrast today’s Second Reading presents the figure of Saint Paul. He came to appreciate—the hard way—that his suffering, rejection and human failing were remedies for arrogance. He learned that it was in his weakness that he was strong: “Power is made perfect in weakness.” Why? Because then it became apparent to him that God was his strength. Any success he might have had was the fruit of God’s grace: “My grace is sufficient for you.”
Salvation—attaining the kingdom of heaven—is a goal we cannot reach on our own. This is why Jesus founded the Church, why he has given us the sacraments. Yet surveys show that a large number of American Catholics fail to attend Sunday Mass or receive the sacraments, especially the Sacrament of Penance. Is this not the direct result of arrogance and a lack of faith in God? If an honest examination of conscience reveals this to be the case, turn to God and plead for his mercy. Better to do it now, than on the Day of Judgment!
This weekend we welcome Father Victor Inbaraj from India, formerly pastor at Holy Ghost Parish here, for our mission coop appeal. He is here to share his experience with the people and the children (from Kindergarten to grade 7) who are educated in Our Lady of Fatima School in India, in the remote rural village called Adhichanur. This school was built for nine years and now serves 350 children from 15 different villages where their parents have no access to send them to school to learn all subjects in English, because they don’t have financial support or any transportation facilities. Father Victor requests our prayers and financial support to continue this mission. There are envelopes in the pews for this purpose. Please take them home and return your gift next weekend. Checks should be made payable to your parish. There will be a second collection for this purpose next weekend.
St. Peter’s Shin-Gig is next Sunday, July 15, beginning with Mass at 10:00 AM. All are welcome. A lot of work goes into this event, so come and enjoy the fruit of so much generous labor.
Please pray the rosary this week for Father Victor and Our Lady of Fatima School. Pray for good weather and for the success of St. Peter’s Shin-dig. Pray for the safety of all who are traveling or vacationing this summer and, as always, pray for peace.
May God bless his people with peace.